Cautious Rollout For New Air Taxi Service

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Two companies, Linear Air and Hopscotch Air, are hoping to spread awareness of, assess demand for, and then build on their new air taxi service launched Oct. 1, that operates the Cirrus SR-22 between White Plains, New York, and Boston. Both companies are involved in other sustaining ventures, so neither depends directly on the success of the new venture for their survival. Linear Air COO Peter Schmidt told AVweb this week he expects demand to develop slowly. "You can't stimulate demand for transportation by offering it to people. People travel when they need to travel. And people need to hear the message multiple times before they start to take the message seriously." And Linear Air has a plan in place to address that.

The new air taxi service is listed among the offerings for transportation at online outlets Kayak.com and Hipmunk.com, aside from direct access to booking via LinearAir.com/routes. It offers same-day out and back trips via the SR-22 between either White Plains and Logan or Bedford airports. Schmidt says that the service is starting slowly, having flown "a couple people in the aircraft for opening day, but business is slowly starting to ramp up. Says Schmidt, "It's exactly what I expected." Schmidt believes that in the early stages of the business, "scheduled service is as much about generating market awareness as it is about putting people in seats." And he hopes the superior experience of "more legroom, more comfort and a better view" will add favorably to a door-to-door trip time that cuts 2.5 hours off each leg (including time spent in lines associated with more traditional modes of aviation travel). Round-trip tickets are roughly $800 depending on which of the two Boston destinations are selected.